Startup Bangladesh Limited
There are many examples around us where the dream of becoming an entrepreneur is shattered due to a lack of capital despite all the wonderful ideas. While the first-world countries have all the opportunities and support to launch a startup, Bangladesh doesn't have a favorable condition to begin a startup. However, still, some enthusiastic minds took their step and became successful. To accelerate their initiative, government-owned Venture Capital Company Startup Bangladesh Limited started their journey. The Journey of Startup Bangladesh LTD The cabinet has approved a state-owned venture capital company called Startup Bangladesh Limited in August 2019. According to the government's Information and Communication Technology Divisions (ICT), the Prime Minister gave policy approval to the company at a regular meeting. Once the company is established, it will be able to invest a maximum of Tk. 1 crore in the seed stage and a maximum of Tk. 5 crores in the growth-guided startup round in terms of startup valuation. Read: The Emerging Logistics Tech Startups, Courier, Delivery Services in Bangladesh According to a written statement from the Department of Information and Communication Technology, Startup Bangladesh Limited will play a key role in creating a sustainable startup ecosystem in Bangladesh as the first state-owned venture capital company and will take the government's vision-2021 one step further. The aim of the company is to encourage foreign direct investment in the country by transforming the innovative ideas of startups in Bangladesh into business, as well as to eliminate unemployment, create employment and economic development for the country as a whole. ICT Minister Zunaid Ahmed Polok mentioned in the cabinet meeting that the company needs to be formed to provide funding, mentoring, co-working space, legal aid, etc., to startups. In 2019-2020 budget, the government had allocated Tk. 100 crore for the startup sector. The journey started with the capital of Tk. 500 crore. This year, startup Bangladesh Limited will provide Tk 100 crore to 50 entrepreneurs. The funds will be spent on creating young entrepreneurs, innovating technologies, advances, new workplaces, and socioeconomic change. Read: Digital Healthcare Startups in Bangladesh: An Overview The announcement came at the signing ceremony of an agreement to celebrate the 50th anniversary of independence as well as the first series of startups to invest in Bangladesh. With this, the new campaign titled 'ShotoBorshe Shoto Asha' of Startup Bangladesh Limited officially started its journey on March 31, 2021. The campaign was officially announced by ICT minister Zunaid Ahmed Palak. Deputy Minister for Education Mohibul Hasan Chowdhury was the special guest. The company gave Tk. 15 crores to 7 Bangladeshi startups this year. The seven companies are Pathao Limited, Sheba XYZ, Chaldal.com, Intelligence Machine, Dhaka Cast, Eduhive, and Moner Bondhu. This fund will enable them to improve the quality of their products or services, increase productivity, market and improve supply-chain management. This time Startup Bangladesh Limited is investing only in established and successful ventures. But the company will also invest in the new entrants too, especially the students. Students need to be introduced to such startups; then they will be able to do something on their own without running after the job. Read Angel Investment 101: Is It the Right Track for Your Startup? Seven Bangladeshi Startups to Get Investments from Startup Bangladesh LTD Following are the details of the 7 Bangladeshi who are getting Tk.15 crore. Pathao Bangladeshi ride-sharing company Pathao is going to get more investment and this time from the government-owned venture capital company. However, the exact amount is not published yet, but they will get a significant amount for sure. This is not the first time that Pathao received an investment. Previously the company raised investment from the secondary market in 2018 from Clearstone. Earlier, Gojek, an Indonesian ride-sharing company, made a big investment in Pathao. Gojek invested $2 million in 2017. In 2015, Pathao started its journey as a courier service and later brought ride-sharing services through the mobile app. At first, bikes were added, and then car or car services were added. After receiving the investment, the company adds food delivery and payment services to their services. But Pathao Pay as a payment service was stopped later as it did not get approval from Bangladesh Bank. Pathao has expanded its ride-sharing service to Dhaka, Chittagong, and Sylhet in the country. It has also launched a ride-sharing service in Nepal. Read:The 7 Most Promising Tech Startups in Bangladesh Sheba XYZ Seva XYZ is an online service-based marketplace in Bangladesh. There are many services in the service app, including air conditioning service, electric and home appliance, plumbing and sanitary, furniture making and repair, wall painting, house cleaning. The organization has worked on a personal and small scale for so many days. Recently, they have started providing services to the corporate sector by increasing the scope of their activities. Sheba XYZ got funding from Startup Bangladesh Limited. Nevertheless, the company also raised an overall $1 million previously. The company needed at least two million more dollars to run the operations at home and abroad. Hence, the investment from the government-owned venture capital company will surely boost Sheba XYZ to expand its business. Read The SWAP story of Bangladesh's first reCommerce startup
A weeklong roadshow aimed at promoting investment into Bangladesh concluded in the USA, with Startup Bangladesh Limited unveiling greater opportunities in its Startups and Technology sector. On the final day, local and international delegates joined the “US- Bangladesh Tech Investment Summit” to discuss investment opportunities in Startups and Technology Sector of Bangladesh, the untapped investment goldmine of Asia. Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission (BSEC) organized the roadshow titled ‘The Rise of Bengal Tiger: Potentials of Trade and Investment in Bangladesh’ in the cities of New York, Washington D.C, Los Angeles and San Francisco in California. Started on July 26, the roadshow was held to promote Bangladesh’s economy, investment opportunities and capital markets. The final programme was held on Tuesday in the Hyatt Regency, Santa Clara, California. Salman F Rahman, MP, Private Industry & Investment Adviser to Prime Minister of Bangladesh; Lisa M. Gillmor; Mayor, City of Santa Clara, California; and Professor Shibli Rubayat-Ul-Islam; Chairman of BSEC; were present. Read: Bangladesh seeks US investment for regional power distribution Abdur Rouf Talukdar, Senior Secretary of Finance Division; Tapan Kanti Ghosh Secretary of Ministry of Commerce; Fatima Yasmin Secretary of Economic Relations Division; Md Sirazul Islam, Executive Chairman of BIDA and Executive Chairman of BEPZA; and Tina Jabeen, Managing Director and CEO of Startup Bangladesh Limited; also attended it. A panel discussion was also held with prominent guests of Silicon Valley on potentials of trade & investment in Bangladesh. It was moderated by Shameem Ahsan, President, VCPEAB. Anis Uzzaman, Founder & CEO of Pegasus Tech Ventures; and Tina Jabeen, Managing Director and CEO of Startup Bangladesh Limited; delivered the keynote speeches. The programme kicked off by Prof. Rubayat-Ul-Islam, Chairman of BSEC. Tina Jabeen, in her keynote speech, upheld the Bangladesh Story - the story of consistent growth spearheaded by the current government led by the visionary Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and the impetus behind the growth journey; Bangladesh’s perspective plan 2021-2041, said a media release on Wednesday. Read: Bangladesh will continue to attract foreign investments, defying downturn: US She exemplified the successful stories of homegrown startups, how they are already attracting international investors validating that Bangladesh is ready to be the next breeding ground of unicorn in Asia. Tina Jabeen at the end of her Keynote speech played a video message from Reid Hoffman, the founder of LinkedIn where he said that “Great innovative leaders understand that technology is the future and this is how startups are created in silicon valley with global relevance and global scale. It's a rare thing but when it happens that's the sign and innovative leadership I applaud for.” Salman F Rahman urged Non-Resident Bangladeshis (NRBs) and expatriates to avail of the opportunities presented by the nation.